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Comment There's an obvious response (Score 1) 323

Stores and malls that want to track you still have options - perhaps the most obvious one is to offer free wifi to their customers. Which is probably a win-win situation, although most users probably won't realise that part of the price of the "free" wifi is that they get tracked until they tell their device to forget the network again. There might be some subtle biases introduced into the data captured by this method if some kinds of customer are more likely to accept the offer of free wifi than others, mind you.


Chevron Gives Residents Near Fracking Explosion Free Pizza 207

Lasrick writes "Chevron hopes that free soda and pizza can extinguish community anger over a fracking well fire in Dunkard Township, Pennsylvania. From the story: 'The flames that billowed out of the Marcellus Shale natural gas well were so hot they caused a nearby propane truck to explode, and first responders were forced to retreat to avoid injury. The fire burned for four days, and Chevron currently has tanks of water standing by in case it reignites. Of the twenty contractors on the well site, one is still missing, and is presumed dead.' The company gave those who live nearby a certificate for a free pizza and some soda."

Comment Every time. (Score 1) 172

This happens every time a popular website (or application) is updated with a redesigned UI. The fact that thousands of users are complaining tells you nothing about whether the average user finds the site easier to use. The fact that people are posting here on Slashdot to say that they personally dislike it also tells you nothing. Fundamentally, people hate having change imposed on them, particularly if they don't know or agree with the reasons for it. And frankly even if Yahoo's existing users overwhelmingly hated the new design, it could still be the right decision for the company - they need to attract new users from other services, not satisfy their existing dwindling base.


HTC Does What Google Wouldn't: Sell an LTE Phone That Sidesteps AT&T 290

schwit1 writes "You won't see it advertised on billboards or television, you won't hear it mentioned in a carrier store, and your less technologically-savvy friends most certainly won't know about it — but quietly, HTC's done something extraordinarily important this month: it's broken AT&T's stranglehold on its nationwide LTE network. It's a move that even Google, for all its money, power, and influence, didn't make with the Nexus 4. HTC is shipping both 32GB and 64GB versions of the One — an early contender for the best phone of 2013 — in a carrier- and bootloader-unlocked version that supports both T-Mobile and AT&T LTE. No strings attached."

Comment It's hardly chilling. (Score 1) 111

This is just the latest occasion when I have wished that /. editors would, you know, do some editing. The story is interesting; the attempt by the submitter to spin it as evidence of a particular viewpoint adds nothing.

All legal jurisdictions are having to come to terms with the fact that groups of people in social networks now have the ability to publish (mis)information on a scale that was previously limited to mainstream media outlets. This effort from the UK authorities is (in my opinion) a reasonably balanced one, that does a good job of extending the existing British consensus on where the line should be drawn between free speech and criminal irresponsibility into the modern era.


'Legitimized' Cyberwar Opens Pandora's Box of Dirty Tricks 134

DillyTonto writes "U.S. officials have acknowledged playing a role in the development and deployment of Stuxnet, Duqu and other cyberweapons against Iran. The acknowledgement makes cyberattacks more legitimate as a tool of not-quite-lethal international diplomacy. It also legitimizes them as more-combative tools for political conflict over social issues, in the same way Tasers gave police less-than-lethal alternatives to shooting suspects and gave those who abuse their power something other than a club to hit a suspect with. Political parties and single-issue political organizations already use 'opposition research' to name-and-shame their opponents with real or exaggerated revelations from a checkered past, jerrymander districts to ensure their candidates a victory and vote-suppression or get-out-the-vote efforts to skew vote tallies. Imagine what they'll do with custom malware, the ability to DDOS an opponent's web site or redirect donations from an opponent's site to their own. Cyberweapons may give nations a way to attack enemies without killing anyone. They'll definitely give domestic political groups a whole new world of dirty tricks to play."

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 72

When a gui editor can create easily read code that loads faster than something I can do in the same amount of time with notepad

Notepad? Seriously? I mean, I can understand not wanting to use a GUI editor since they all suck, but you're only hurting yourself if you insist on using the second most primitive tool available. (Why not go the whole hog and use EDLIN?)

There are a whole load of things in between that provide conveniences like indentation, tag/attribute completion, on-the-fly validation, etc while still letting you write the HTML yourself the way you want it. You should be using one. It will make you more productive and increase the quality of the web pages you produce; and if you are really refusing to do so, then you, sir/madam, are no more a professional than a "carpenter" would be who insisted on planing wood with a sharpened screwdriver.

Comment Re:Not smart Enough? (Score 1) 1276

What's the problem with that?

It is 2012, not 1962. Am I seriously reading someone asking what the problem would be with disenfranchising "impoverished and minority voters"?

A few of the poor might be civically involved and responsible, such as yourself.

"I say, boy! You are not like those other poors who are all lazy and stupid! Well done. Have a pat on the head."

But on the average, poor people have been shown to have bad decision-making skills.

By whom? Citations please, preferably to studies that show that middle- and upper-income people are significantly better at making decisions. (Because it sure looks like a lot of rich folk have made some pretty shitty decisions recently. It wasn't poor people who invented subprime mortgages!)

Or do you mean that it's self-evident from the fact that they're poor? Because that would be your privilege talking, not your brain. It is not, in general, straightforward to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps. Being able to make good decisions doesn't help if none of the available options is good.

Also, "minority"? Are you serious?

I don't know about hir, but I am. Yes, of the people receiving state support in the USA today, proportionally more are from minority backgrounds, and skewing the voter pool in favor of the majority ethnic group would be a problem.

You're playing the structural racism card, and that's not a healthy way to play.

Why not? Structural racism is a thing. Pointing out that the policy you are advocating would be a terrible idea because it would disproportionately disenfranchise people who already suffer from the racism endemic in this nation is hardly unhealthy. It's ignoring the problem that would be unhealthy.

Oh no, we can't increase our standards, or else a group that is disproportionately represented in the lower score will be disadvantaged.

Come back and try this argument again when you have a shred of evidence that shows that letting poor people vote is bad for democracy.

Oh, and you're a racist, because the only logical conclusion of your argument is that white people are smarter than any other race. Burned any good crosses lately?

Played one way, why can't they be like Asians, who suffered prejudice and came out ahead?

"Gee whillikers them yellers sure are smart, ain't they? Damn good at math I tell you! And they work real hard, not like those lazy nigfood stamp recipients! Nosiree I am not racist what made you think that."

Played another way, why don't we extend the franchise to undocumented Hispanics, who may have just as much stake in our country as we do?

Good idea. Why not?

Comment Re:get over it (Score 1) 582

ultimately these restrictions serve no real purpose and just waste a lot of money in the form of time lost by both IT, administrative and research staff.

I'd be interested to see what evidence you have to support this claim. Dealing with e.g. the malware infestations and DMCA threats inevitably caused by people taking advantage of a network not blocking sketchy websites would probably also waste a lot of money and time.

Are you really claiming that there are more researchers legitimately investigating porn websites than there are horny frat boys who just want to jerk off in their dorm rooms and then steal a movie for later? More software companies who have not figured out a better way to deliver their product than emailing it to random employees than random employees who would install every "screensaver" emailed to them by a criminal? Really? Because that sure sounds pretty implausible to me.

Comment Re:There is no Microsoft Tax (Score 1) 475

Random Online Comp Shop Inc. isn't going to get the volume license discount that Dell/Lenovo get for shipping millions of licenses

See my post below. HP considers the additional cost of an OEM Windows license to be US$75 (Home Premium) or $100 (Professional).

Last I checked, HP was the single biggest PC manufacturer in the world. If there's a good volume discount going, I'm guessing they get it.

Now, maybe HP don't add as much crapware as more consumer-focused OEMs. But, well, I don't know how much the shovelware authors pay for each installation, but I really doubt it's more than a few dollars at most per program, and even Dell doesn't ship that many programs. They won't be offsetting a full $100 by any means. That, my friend is why the Microsoft tax is a real thing that costs real people real money if they don't want to use Windows. And that's terrible.

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